Busan mayor Oh Keo-don has invited APM Terminals to invest in the South Korean port by taking up a terminal there, he said on 4 September, after meeting with APM Terminals’ Asia Pacific head, Tim Smith.
Busan is South Korea’s busiest container port and the largest transhipment port in northeast Asia.
While international terminal operators such as DP World and PSA International have terminals in Busan, APM Terminals, AP Møller-Maersk’s terminal-operating arm, does not.
In fact, APM Terminals, which has 74 terminals in 57 countries, is notably absent from South Korea, despite having facilities at such sites as Yokohama and Kobe in Japan and Shanghai, Tianjin, and Dalian in China.
Oh said that during his meeting with Smith, he also shared his mid- and long-term visions for Busan, which both the central and municipal governments aim to develop as a maritime hub. He added said he promoted Busan’s investment potential for APM Terminals, such as the possibility of creating a “Maersk town” if the group were to shift its Asia-Pacific headquarters from Hong Kong.
Ina ddition, the mayor appealed for support from the wider AP Møller-Maersk group to ensure the survival of Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), which is now South Korea’s flagship carrier after Hanjin Shipping went bankrupt in February 2017. Oh called for Maersk Line, which is part of the 2M alliance with Mediterranean Shipping Company, to maintain the alliance’s collaboration with HMM.
APM Terminals proposed to share its expertise with Busan port, especially in the areas of blockchain technology and port automation.
“With the meeting with APM Terminals, we will seek greater co-operation with multinational companies and co-operate with shipping companies and port operators so that Busan can become a focus in the new economic policy,” Oh said.